The Real Value of Client Relationships

Bailey Jarrell

“Business is Business:” a statement that has defined and crippled the professional culture for a too long. How many times have we heard or said this ourselves with the intent to mask our insensitive decisions that throw people under the bus for a smart “business move” or to increase the bottom line? There are times when emotion has to be checked at the door in order to make professional choices that best suit the direction of the company; we get it. Yet, society’s dependence on the mantra “it’s just business” has undermined the value of character and the necessity of human essence.

When we’re sitting across the table from another person, be that a client, prospect, or industry authority, do we dismiss the opportunity for strong, engaging relationships in order to nail down a solid business deal? Sure, goals are important and some occasions call for assertive methods. But we propose that those occasions are the exception to the rule, not the guiding principle for all professional interactions. We must understand the value of the person sitting across from us and allow our professional and personal lives to intertwine if we’re going to make lasting impact in this world. Business is about more than dollar signs and beneficial partnerships. It’s about real peoples’ brands, reputations, dreams, passions, and family provision. Circumstances and personal drive divide our motivations only enough to make our stories unique. At the core, we are all the same.

In this day of technology, we bypass human interaction on a daily basis. We have more power, more choices, and more control at our fingertips than any other generation before us, and it has taught us to do “business as usual” at the cost of building real relationships. Let’s make space for humanity again by modeling genuine interest in others through our sphere of influence. Whether that’s a sales meeting, a conference, social media, or a staff lunch; challenge yourself to transcend business to gain personal connections.

In order to redeem the human element of our culture, we have to redefine our mentality.

Our goal for establishing a mindset of unity can be summed up in this mantra quoted by our friend, Evans Duren during a recent interview: “C.A.R.E 2 succeed.” Here’s the breakdown: C- Commit, A-Appreciate, R-Reciprocate, E-Equip. The best relationships are driven by a mutual commitment and appreciation for the strengths each person brings. Without an equal level of reciprocation from both parties, the relationship will stall with no progression or forward movement. In tandem, the goal is to learn from and equip each other; propelling one another to achieve goals and become the best version of ourselves. The number two symbolizes the fact that we can’t do this alone, and team work gives us leverage for greater impact. The last component, “succeed”, is crucial as this entire operation hinges on our definition of true success. Under the current cultural assumption that “business is business,” success looks like a number or title with little regard for how to achieve it. We want to redefine success as strong community, relationships that far outlast closing a deal, and doing what we can to make the world a better place through collaborative efforts.

We could build an empire and sit on top of our spoils feeling proud of our accomplishments, but what is it for it not to be shared with others? Life is richer when we have people in our corner, and those friendships make every day worth living whether we won or lost that big opportunity. The truth is, we are all going to do life around people despite our spirit of independence and ambitious lifestyle. The question is whether we maximize those relationships and let them add irreplaceable value to our lives or not. At the end of the day, if we have reached our goals at the cost of losing valuable connection with people, then we have missed the point. If we all adopt this new mentality of humanity’s worth, we might just witness breakthrough like we’ve never seen before.

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